The Doxy's Daybook: A Friday in Two Acts (5 page)

BOOK: The Doxy's Daybook: A Friday in Two Acts
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SCENE 2

THE PLAZA HOTEL

MANHATTAN, NY

3:13pm

It’s a rare occurrence, but every once in a while I get a new client.  First-timers are always the trickiest.  Like working from a new script with someone you’ve never shared the
boards with, there are bound to be miscues and timing issues.  As a result of the novelty, it can take a while to learn each other.  I’ve been doing this a long time, and each of my costars is special to me.  We share relationships that thrive on mutual trust, respect, and discretion, and that’s why I keep my cast relatively small, limit the number of new roles. 

With all of my newbies I like to be sure they are supremely comfortable.  Setting is key to every scene and a proper doxy never works in less than the best available accommodations.  My cast members are also my audience, and they need to be wowed by the decor as much as by the action and dialogue of the play.  If I were nothing more than a quick fuck I’d be better off working from a van over in the Meatpacking District or Hell’s Kitchen.  There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you, but that isn’t my production.  And because I take the time to make my show a memorable experience, I’ll always have repeat clients.

I arrive early to The Plaza Hotel and check in to the Edwardian Suite I’ve reserved for the evening.  Spacious and airy, it has a sumptuous king bed piled high with pillows and a separate living area for entertaining. 

The bellhop deposits my bag in the closet and I tip him handsomely. I usually do. There are no small roles in theatre; we should all be rewarded accordingly.

I set up the space to my liking and then move to the bathroom for a long soak in the tub to rehearse the final scene of the evening.  

My last appointment today is with a new client—two, actually.  I call them The Cowboys. Winston Daniels and his partner Thaddeus Adams, a gay couple originally from Texas.  We share a mutual friend who asked if I would be willing to help the
pair out of a predicament. Scene directions are as follows: Winston is bisexual and Thad—who is not—has an issue with his lover having sex with the
opposite
sex.  In short, the last woman Winston was with tried to “turn him straight”.  For obvious reasons this didn’t set well with Thad and has nearly torn their five-year relationship apart.

Being that I have no motives to turn anyone, I’m a safe bet.  However, I’ll still need to walk a fine line between pleasing Winston and upsetting Thad.  I’m up for the challenge.

Wrapped in a thick cotton towel I stare at the five dresses I’ve unpacked and hung in the closet.  The skin-tight, single-shoulder bandage dress?  No.  Something less aggressive, less…blatantly sexual.  The standard little black dress? No. Requires too much accessorizing.  I want something that says “beautiful but not a threat”.  Maybe the burgundy frock? 

The material is sheer and loose with a lace yoke aro
und the neck and three-quarter length sleeves that end in tie bows. A thin belt is at the middle that can also be tied.  Whenever I wear it, it makes me look young, carefree, and unintimidating.  The perfect costume for my intentions.

I knot my hair in a loose ponytail behind my head, a few tresses falling free to frame my face.  Ballet slippers and a light dusting of makeup complete the innocent ensemble. 

Deep breath, Roz.  Last routine of the night.
 

And because my audience is new, it’s quite possibly the most important.  Only one chance to gain fans in the theatre, so this scene must be performance art at its height.

I walk to the curtains and pull them open; stare out at the theatre house beyond the glass pane. Several stories down in the Orchestra, the audience files into and out of view, a steady, sensual flow of traffic seeking out seats in a play they’ve no idea they’re watching, unaware of the cast watching them.  Across the way, the Mezzanine is already settled, apart from the occasional bird that zips by, doubles back once it has located its friends and comes to a fluttering perch on the rooftop of a nearby building or tree.  The Sun’s in the balcony box, directing the bright spotlight that warms my face and shoulders.  I track it a moment, see its slow descent into blind seating, and then I page the curtains again and slip into a cushiony chair of my own to wait for the scene to begin.   

Champagne chills in a bucket on the bar when the door to the suite pushes open half an hour later.  I hear the pair before I see them, but don’t move.  If rule one of the stage is know your lines, rule two is know your cue.

“…still don’t like this.” The voice is gruff and heavy with a fleeting twinge of Texas twang.  Thad, I assume.

“But you love me.”  Winston giggles.  His voice is also deep, but his tone is much lighter, excited.  “One night a month.  Suck it up, cowboy.”

Bags in tow, they come to a startled stop in the living room, staring at me lounging in the finely upholstered chair. 

Both men a
re very attractive.  Mid-thirties, one with curly brown hair all about his head, the other with perfectly groomed black, the short strands combed back from his face. Judging by the hint of a scowl on the second’s visage, brown-hair is Winston.

Well-worn blue jeans hug his narrow hips and thighs, and a tucked, buttoned down shirt hides what appear to be muscled abs and pecs.  His partner is built beefier and a little taller, maybe six-three to Winston’s six-one, and dressed much the same in black jeans and a plaid shirt.  But the biggest difference with Thad is that glower he’s all too happy to let me see.

I’ve got my work cut out for me.  The critics are in attendance tonight.  A convincing performance is crucial.

Winston approaches, smile warm, tanned arm extended, brown eyes bright.  I stand, smooth down my dress as though nervous. 

I’m not. 

Without heels on, my eyes are just level with his shoulder.  

“Hi.  I’m Tony,” he says when our hands connect.  “My debatably better half over there is Thad,”—to his partner—“Come say howdy to the pretty woman.”

I chuckle, certain the comment is not intentional.

Thad grunts, doesn’t bother to come over, and murmurs, “‘Pretty woman’ is right.” 

Not a fan of the arts.

“Be nice, Thad,” Winston warns.  “He’s not always this much of an ass, Rosalyn.”

I put a little lilt in my voice.  “Everyone calls me Roz.”

“How many everyones’re we talkin’?” Thad drawls, contempt dripping from his fading southern accent.

I raise a brow, fix him with a seductive gaze.  The corners of my mouth turn up a hair.

“Thad!” Winston is visibly upset, face flushing red with embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, he’s never—”

A gentle shake of my head stops the apology. 

Thad abandons their luggage and comes farther into the room.  Upon closer inspection he has frosty blue eyes fiery with possession for his lover.  Had it not been directed at me it would be adorable.

Know your lines.  Know your cue.

“Settle down, Tony.  I don’t guess yer little friend here needs as much protection as ya think.” 

Thad brushes past me, moves to the chilling champagne.  He lifts it from the bucket to read the label—Perrier Jouet’s 2000 Belle Epoque, Limited Edition—mutters, “Drivel,” with a disgusted twist of his head.  The bottle drops back into the ice with a slosh.

That “drivel” is actually quite delicious.  It’s one of a dozen gifted to me from a client, a French businessman with connections to the company.  At over six grand a bottle, it’s not exactly the type of drink one would scoff at.

Winston apologizes again with his eyes as I move to stand beside Thad at the bar.  I retrieve the bottle and open it like a pro, pour bubbly for Winston and myself. I set both
glasses back on the counter and prepare a tumbler of George Dickel for Thad.  I hand him his drink, careful we don’t touch, and then take hold of both flutes of champagne.

He eyes the whiskey warily, turns to his lover and frowns.  “You?”

Winston shakes his head as I approach.  “I do my homework,” I say, then press a glass firmly into his hand.  “A little bird informed me you were dying for a sip of this, Winston.”

He nods happily.  “Thanks.  And call me Tony. Winston’s so,”—he pulls a face—“formal.”

“All right, Tony.”  I raise my glass. “To a great night?”

Tony smile
s, clinks his glass to mine.  Thad lowers into a chair, sips his drink, refusing to join in the toast.  I know the Dickel’s won me points but he won’t acknowledge it.

Tony’s brown curls are shaking again and it’s clear he’s bothered by his lover’s churlishness.  I offer a smile, motion for him to have a seat on the co
uch directly across from Thad.  I remain standing.

“So, tell me a little about yourselves.”  The inquiry is directed
toward Tony but intended for his partner.  If Tony is the wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type, Thad is sleeveless.  His comments are likely to be straight to the point and I need direct information.

Thad grunts.  “Thought we were here for a quick screw, not a full-on gittin’ tuh know ya.”

“Roz is bein’ nice, Thad,” Tony snaps. 

“Well, let‘er be nice someplace else.  We don’t need her here.”

The smile never leaves my face.

Tony hops up from his seat with murder in his eyes, jabbing a finger at his mate.  “Your insane jealousy is the reason we can’t move forward.”

“Actually, it’s the backwater laws in this here country won’t let us move forward,” Thad mocks, taking another hefty swallow of the whiskey.  “That…and yer fence straddlin’.”

Tony lets out a strangled groan.  “For the love of—Why do I even
try
with you?”

I sip my
champagne slowly and move toward Thad, Tony straining to keep his anger in check.

“Please, Tony.  Have a seat.”  My voice is soft, eyes locked with his, arm extended toward the couch.  One angry cowboy is plenty, and it’s time for me to intervene.

Tony plops down, the Jouet sloshing from the glass onto his pants.  He doesn’t notice.

Standing near Thad, I try a different approach.  “If that’s all you want, an impersonal fuck,” I shrug, “you should have called a hooker.”

Thad’s surprised gaze shoots up to mine.  “What in hell d’ya think ya are, a saint?”

“A doxy,” I correct,
canting innocently on the arm of his chair.  “I’m a long-term affair that involves knowing my clients and their preferences.  I’m not a casual fuck, Thad.  I’m an intimate lover.  Not everyone can handle it.”

“A wig don’t make it no less a pig, so yer still a hooker in my book.” He looks me over with disdain.  “A hooker who don’t look old enough to be doin’ what she’s doin’.”

“Why, Thaddeus, I do believe that’s a compliment,” I enthuse with a wink at Tony.  He smiles weakly and I settle more comfortably on the arm of Thad’s chair.  “Now, let’s get a few things clear, shall we?  Thad, I’m assuming you’re a top only, right?”

His incoherent grumble sounds like assent.

“And Tony, what is it you like about women so much that you have to have one?”

He pushes his fingers through
his curly locks.  “After seeing the hard ass I’m with, you can understand I like something soft and supple every now and again.”

I laugh a little, casually slide my arm across Thad’s broad shoulders and lean against him.  He doesn’t move, but the tension is tangible.  My fingers absently trace a plaid square on his shirt, the other hand bringing the glass of
bubbly to my lips.

Thad hops up, the move so abrupt my drink spills down my dress. 

“Git off me,” he barks, bucks his head toward a furious Tony who is standing again.  “Ya might have
him
on yer string, but not me.  I don’t like this, and I don’t like you!”

“See!” Tony screams, finding a cloth napkin for my dress.  “Completely unreasonable! Look what you’ve done.”  He dabs at the wet spot, ironically trying to avoid touching me inappropriately.  “Roz, I’m so sorry.”  His brown eyes are tinged with sadness, and I know his next line before he utters it.  “This isn’t going to work.” Tony’s hands are shaking with rage, but he’s intent on mopping up every drop of liquid from my dress.  “Tell me what I owe you and—”

I stop his hand, take the napkin from him.  “How about you go take a shower and relax a bit; give me and Thad a chance to talk, hm?”

Tony
flicks his angry gaze to his partner—who is sitting on the couch as though nothing has happened—then looks back to me, uncertain.

“I’ll be fine,” I assure. “Won’t I, Thad?”

The other man grunts again and Tony grabs his bag, stalks from the room. 

To be honest, I didn’t expect this level of derision from Thad. But I’m a professional, and at times like these an actress has to th
ink fast, work with what her costar gives her in order to save the show. 

I move toward the bar, place my empty flute and the napkin upon it.  Then I add a bit of whiskey to a tumbler and take up a post on the coffee table directly in front of the
sulking man.  We’re silent a while, Thad glaring at me and slowly sipping his elixir, me staring right back. 

BOOK: The Doxy's Daybook: A Friday in Two Acts
12.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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